Saturday, December 12, 2015

Equality Still Being Denied in US

There is a ways to go for full marriage equality in the US. It's going to happen, and we're helping to make it happen sooner rather than later. There is no good reason to deny people their rights. Equality applies to all or it isn't equality.

reports an example of a same-gender couple still fighting for their rights.

Alray Nelson and his partner, Brennen Yonnie. Photo by Alray Nelson.
Alray Nelson and his partner, Brennen Yonnie. Photo by Alray Nelson.
For Navajo tribal members, same-sex marriage is not legal although it is now legal in the United States.
“Once again, we were forgotten on a national level and the fight for marriage equality is not over,” said Alray Nelson, Navajo member and lead organizer for the Coalition for Navajo Equality. “It’s not ended. We’re still here fighting.”
Good for them!
In 2005, the Navajo Nation Council passed a law called the Diné Marriage Act. This law was enacted to specify marriage laws for Navajo members.

In section three, it states, “Marriage between persons of the same sex is void and prohibited.”
Legally a gay, Navajo couple could obtain a marriage license in the state of Arizona, but this couple would not be able to receive Navajo employee benefits, receive home site-leases and according to the Coalition for Navajo Equality a same-sex couple may not be allowed adopt a Native American child.
That's terrible.
The Cherokee tribe also banned same-sex marriage, defining marriage specifically between a man and a woman. According to Nelson, only 12 out of 566 tribes provide protections for same-sex marriage couples.
This needs to change, and it will. It's awful that people who've been subjected to so much bigotry would keep perpetuating bigotry.

Meanwhile, in Montana, a judge apparently didn't get the memo the Supreme Court sent. Here's a report at about the polygamous freedom to marry still being denied.
A federal magistrate judge has ruled against a polygamous trio in Billings seeking to strike down Montana's bigamy laws.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby ruled Monday that Nathan, Victoria and Christine Collier must show that the laws have harmed them, or that they have been threatened with prosecution, before they can file a lawsuit.
Ostby's ruling is not the final say. Her findings and recommendations can be upheld or rejected by U.S. District Judge Susan Watters.
So the door is still open there.
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